U.S | Probe Launched into Baby Formula Shortage

The United States House Oversight committee has announced it will investigate the baby formula shortage affecting families across the country, asking for information on how the largest manufacturers are addressing the shortage, and how the government can ease supply problems from occurring in the future.

Committee Chair Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (D-N.Y.) and Rep. Raja Krishnamoorthi (D-Ill.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Economic and Consumer Policy, sent letters to four of the largest infant formula manufacturers seeking information on what has caused the issue and how they will ramp up production to meet demand.

The letters were sent to Abbott Nutrition, Mead Johnson Nutrition, Nestle USA, and Perrigo, which control nearly 90 percent of total market sales for formula manufacturing, according to the committee.

In the letter to Abbott, the committee requested documents and records regarding safety conditions at its Sturgis, Michigan, plant that led to recent nationwide recalls of several of its infant formula products.

The committee is also investigating reports of price gouging, which the White House directed the Department of Justice and the Federal Trade Commission to monitor and target.

“We have asked for a briefing by the end of the month, and we've asked three basic questions: Do they have the supply to meet the demand? Is there a supply chain problem that can be corrected? And what can we do to make sure this doesn't happen again?” Maloney said.

The shortage of infant formula is rooted in supply-chain issues from the Covid-19 pandemic and rising inflation, but the shuttering of an Abbott Laboratories facility in Sturgis, Michigan, in February exacerbated the limited supplies.